Aretha Franklin’s bass player: She was a great person

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Robert Wagner ‘person of interest’ in wife’s death

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Sorry, Donald – you didn’t win Person of the Year

People who sparked the #MeToo movement by speaking out over sexual harassment have been honoured as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
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Donald Trump Claims He Rejected TIME’s Person of the Year and Stars Have Hilarious Reactions

Despite being named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2016, President Donald Trump is taking himself out of the running for 2017 and everyone is talking about it.

The 71-year-old Commander in Chief tweeted that the magazine had “called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot.”

Trump continued, writing, “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”

The publication later responded to his tweet making it clear that Trump was mistaken, “The president is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”

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While Trump received the title last year (and made visitors to his golf clubs believed he’d been on the cover before in fake TIME covers that lined his walls) celebrities couldn’t help but tweet their own two cents on the matter on Friday night.

Julia Louis Dreyfus tweeted, “@nytimes just called to say I was PROBABLY going to be named comedienne of the year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway! @andy_murray.”

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Christina Applegate responded to Dreyfus, tweeting, “Mama it’s so weird. They just called me to say I’m the grossest mom of the year because I haven’t washed my hair in a week. Awesome.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Mark Hamill also joked he was contacted by TIME, but only on the condition that he reveal movie spoilers before the Dec. 15 release of the highly-anticipated film.

“Time Magazine called to say that I was DEFINITELY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year” but I would have to agree to leak major #Ep8 spoilers,” Hamill tweeted. “I said “no problem”, but then they told me you turned it down and now I don’t want it anymore. Thanks anyway!”

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Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette had a suggestion for Trump, tweeting, “You can always print yourself another fake cover.”

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff, profession tennis player Andy Murray, and Dan Pfeiffer who was former senior adviser to Barack Obama also tweeted responses to the president either criticizing him or making a joke based on his original tweet.

TIME’s Person of the Year will be revealed on Dec. 6.


PEOPLE.com

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First Person: Sure, I Have Fashion Regrets. All the Best People Do.

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The one person to blame for Rangers’ ruin (Yahoo Sports)

Alain Vigneault

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J. K. Rowling Magically Trolls Donald Trump For Tweeting In The Third Person

J. K. Rowling just couldn’t resist.

The Harry Potter author gleefully mocked President Donald Trump after he tweeted the following message in the third person on Tuesday:

Here’s how Rowling responded:

Trump often refers to himself by his surname, rather than by using the words “me” and “I.”

It’s a habit that Harvard Medical School professor Elsa Ronningstam says people with “an exaggerated view of how great” they are sometimes use to make themselves appear even bigger.

Trump’s tweet and Rowling’s retort did not go unnoticed by other Twitter users, who seized on the posts to also poke fun at the president.

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What Every Person Who Loves A Child Of Divorce Should Know

There are fundamental truths most 5-year-olds understand about the world: The sky is blue. The grass is green. Your family consists of you, possibly siblings and your parents. But that truth is altered if your parents split up.

I was in kindergarten when my parents got divorced. They worked hard to make my reality as normal as possible, but even at a young age I knew something was different about my family compared to my friends’ families.

I wouldn’t change anything about our situation. My mom was my best friend growing up and is to this day; my dad got remarried and he and I gained an amazing family who we can’t picture our world without. The divorce didn’t give me a terrible life. What it did give me was invaluable insight ― especially when it comes to relationships.

The following is what people should know about loving a child of divorce, culled from my personal experience and expert advice:

We worry about commitment.

People whose parents split up might fret more about their serious relationship dissolving ― perhaps seemingly out of nowhere. That’s because our view of commitment may be altered by the divorce, according to Jane Greer, a New York-based marriage and sex therapist.

“Be aware that their feelings about commitment and getting married may have been impacted by the divorce,” Greer told The Huffington Post. “It might have made them reluctant to take the next step … They may feel that it won’t work out.”

We crave relationship validation.

Kids of divorce may feel a greater need to know where they stand with their partner. The best way to do that? Open communication.

“They will do better when they have clarity about where things are going in the relationship,” Greer said. “Feeling secure allows for more openness and more personal sharing.”

And require patience ― particularly around holidays.

Two Christmases and two birthdays may seem like a sweet deal, but they also require a lot of coordination. We worry about this the first time we bring our significant other home because it can get a little hectic and we don’t want it to scare them away. But trust us, the reward of spending time with so many people (and the food and presents, of course) is worth it in the end.

Fights will sometimes scare us.

Admittedly, kids who’ve grown up around fighting parents may not be the best at handling conflict. More specifically, we may be a bit averse to it because we fear we might be abandoned altogether.

“Children of divorce can sometimes be more sensitive during arguments as they may have witnessed their parents arguing in front of them,” Jacqueline Newman, a New York-based family law specialist, told HuffPost. “They may take more extreme positions and think that a small tiff could be the end ― simply because as children the fights they did see led to the ending of the relationship.”

But we know it’s okay to call it quits if the relationship isn’t working out.

Some of us may have come to understand in time why our parents decided to separate and know that it was ultimately the best decision for everyone involved. We may carry this lesson into our own relationships. We know divorce ― eventually ― isn’t the end of the world.

Our family dynamics will likely be more complicated than yours.

Some kids of divorce may be closer to one parent than another. This could depend on factors like the terms of divorce, who became the main caregiver and even how other siblings interacted with each parent, Newman said.

“I recommend that when dating someone who has this type of family connection that you try to understand it rather than be annoyed by it,” she said.

We’re resilient.

If our parents divorced when we were younger, we had to bounce back from a heavy situation earlier than most people our age.

“I think that children of divorce are often more resilient than children who grow up in intact families, because they have to be,” Newman said. “Depending on how the parents handle the situation, many children grow up way faster than they should and have to handle adult emotions in a way that they do not understand.”

We love hard.

Kids of divorce treat relationships with the gravity they deserve. We not only want love to be successful ― we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. That includes not settling, staying open and working through our own issues to make sure we’re approaching our unions in the healthiest possible way.

Because ultimately, we know relationships are worth it.

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How To Love A Messy Person When You’re A Neat Freak

Who cleans and tidies up the house matters in a relationship. In fact, a 2015 study from the University of Alberta found that couples who didn’t split chores had less relationship satisfaction and less sex than couples who divvied up their chores. (Yikes, time to start tidying up, y’all.)

Still, seeing eye-to-eye on chores is easier said than done when you’re hyper organized and your partner lives a life of complete chaos and clutter. How do you bridge that divide and keep your home spick–and–span? Below, marriage therapists and people in messy-organized relationships share their very best advice. 

1. Resist the urge to lecture the messy partner. 

“De-cluttering is so trendy right now, it’s easy to think people who drop their clothes on the floor or treat furniture as filing cabinets are morally inferior to those who crave order. But before you start in with your lecture on how messiness is the root of all evil, consider this: your need to have things tidy and organized might actually be making your partner anxious. How would you respond if your significant other accused you of having OCD? You’d probably feel misunderstood and not particularly motivated to relax your standards. Instead of lecturing, focus on finding ways to address your different needs.” ― Virginia Gilbert, a marriage and family therapist based in Los Angeles

2. Give the messy partner their own messy personal space, whether it’s a room or a drawer.

“If I left my pile of junk mail in the kitchen, my wife would get pretty frustrated, so I leave it in my office with the door closed. This way, the house stays clutter-free. I used to resist having a small space of my own because I thought it shouldn’t be a big deal to leave a few things lying around. Once I realized her cleanliness isn’t some sort of statement against me, it became much easier for each of us to reach a compromise.” ― Nick Pavlidis, author of Confessions Of A Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned from a Lumpy Couch 

3. Create a Google chore calendar. (Don’t forget to send notifications!)

”It’s common for couples to fight about when to take out the garbage or when to do the laundry ― timing issues. These can easily be fixed by having a chore chart or Google doc and letting the family, kids included, choose their own time to knock out their responsibilities.” ― Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of How To Be A Couple And Still Be Free 

4. Remember: You love this person, messiness and all. 

“It’s simple: If you have a partner who supports you, loves you unconditionally, helps you take care of the kids and pay the bills, is kind to your mother and even does your Costco returns, cut them some slack for the underwear by the bed.” ― Galina Nemirovsky, writer at Hearts Everywhere

5. Make a joke out of it. 

“Don’t get stuck in the mud when you find yourself frustrated by the mess. Find humor in the situation. This is who you married. If you can, laugh with your partner about their disorganized ways.” ― Anne Crowley, a psychologist in Austin, Texas

6. Come to a clutter compromise.

“I’m the tidier spouse. To make our marriage last ― and we celebrate 15 years in 2017 ― we’ve had to agree to meet halfway on a number of issues. I no longer complain about the toilet paper roll not being replaced. I’m also less interested in changing her behavior now than I am in helping her understand that for me, to be happy at home there needs to be a base level of order. She, in turn, promised to not leave her cups of half empty tea scattered around the home ― I despise the smell of old tea ― and to respect the man my mother made me: a guy who can not relax if jackets are strewn about the sofa or shoes aren’t side-bye-side by the front door.”  ― Jeff Bogle, blogger at Out With The Kid

7. Ask your partner to be more organized and be OK with their version of neat. 

“I ask my neat and orderly clients to stand back and look at how they came up with the idea that things should be a certain way in the first place. I also tell them if messiness causes them anxiety, they have three choices that are healthy: One: Straighten up the place with a loving heart. Two: Make a request of your partner to be more organized, but be OK with whatever results from this. And lastly, learn to overcome any anxiety their rules are creating for them.” ― Becky Whetstone, a marriage family therapist in Little Rock, Arkansas

8. Recognize that your messy spouse may be set in his or her way. 

“As far as I’m concerned, everything has a place and there is a place for everything. When I need a pair of pliers or some Super Glue, I know where to find it almost instantly. My wife will open some packaged item with a pair of scissors and leave the scissors and package remains on the table and walk away. I know there is no way to change her; it’s either in her DNA, or it’s a can’t-teach-an-old -dog-new-tricks thing.” ― Bill Flanigin, writer and teacher

9. If you’re the messy partner, try to contain the chaos.

“My partner can sometimes be overwhelmed by all the stuff everywhere. Once a day, I shift my perspective and see the mess as my husband might. I spend 10 minutes consolidating the chaos, whether that be finishing the task, putting the shoes away or simply adding the paperwork to my ever-growing personal to-do pile. This goes a long way toward creating a peaceful space for my husband.” ― Kate Chapman, writer at The Life In Process

 10. Have a sense of humor about the situation.

“When I put away the clothes my partner has left hanging over a chair or on a banister or on the floor, I treat is like a rose-petal trail of sorts. A dirty, ragged, rose-petal trail. As I go through the house doing this I think to myself, ‘she left this in this very spot because she wants me to feel close to her even when I am not.’ Sure, most of the time she is eight feet away from me as I pick these things up but it can become quite the romantic adventure to think that one day, I’ll pick up a pair of socks, look up and see a candlelit dinner set out on top of the washing machine.” ― Mike Reynolds, blogger at Puzzling Posts

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Can a dying patient be a healthy person?

By Richard Gunderman, Indiana University and James W Lynch, University of Florida

The news was bad. Mimi, a woman in her early 80s, had been undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Her husband was being treated for bladder cancer. Recently, she developed chest pain, and a biopsy showed that she had developed a secondary tumor of the pleura, the space around one of her lungs. Her oncology team’s mission was to share this bad news.

Mimi’s case was far from unique. Each year in the U.S., over 1.6 million patients receive hospice care, a number that has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. What made Mimi’s case remarkable was not the grimness of her prognosis but her reaction to it.

When the members of the team walked into Mimi’s hospital room, she was lying in bed holding hands with her husband, who was perched beside her on his motorized wheelchair. The attending oncologist gulped, took a deep breath, and began to break the news as gently as he could. Expecting to meet a flood of tears, he finished by expressing how sorry he was.

To the team’s surprise, however, no tears flowed. Instead Mimi looked over at her husband with a broad smile and said, “Do you know what day this is?” Somewhat perplexed, the oncologist had to admit that he did not. “Today is very is special,” said Mimi, “because it was 60 years ago this very day that my Jim and I were married.”

The team members reacted to Mimi with astonishment. How could an elderly woman with an ailing husband who had just been told that she had a second, lethal cancer respond with a smile? Compounding the team’s amazement, she then went on to share how grateful she felt for the life she and her husband had shared.

Mimi thanked the attending oncologist and the members of the team for their care, remarking how difficult it must be to deliver bad news to very sick patients. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Mimi was expressing sympathy for the people caring for her, exhibiting a remarkable generosity of spirit in the face of a grim disease.

The members of the team walked out of Mimi’s room shaking their heads in amazement. Once they reached the hallway, the attending physician turned and addressed the group: “Mimi isn’t the only person in that room with cancer, but she is surely the sickest. And yet,” he continued, to nods all around, “she is also the healthiest of any of us.”

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.”
– John Donne

Disease need not define us

Mimi’s reaction highlights a distinction between disease and illness, the importance of which is becoming increasingly apparent. Simply put, a body has a disease, but only a person can have an illness. Different people can respond very differently to the same diagnosis, and those differences sometimes correspond to demographic categories, such as male or female. Mimi is a beautiful example of the ability to respond with joy and gratitude in the face of even life’s seemingly darkest moments.

Consider another very different patient the cancer team met with shortly after Mimi. Ron, a man in his 40s who had been cured of lymphoma, arrived in the oncology clinic expecting the attending oncologist to sign a form stating that he could not work and therefore qualified for disability payments. So far as the attending knew, there was no reason Ron couldn’t hold a job.

Ron’s experience of disease was very different from Mimi’s, a phenomenon familiar to cancer physicians. Despite a dire prognosis, Mimi was full of gratitude. Ron, by contrast, though cured of his disease and apparently completely healthy, looked at his life with resentment, even anger. He felt deeply wronged by his bout with cancer and operated with a sense that others should do what they could to help make it up to him.

Mimi was dying but content with her life. Ron was healthy but filled with bitterness. Both patients had the same diagnosis – cancer – but the two human beings differed dramatically, and so too did their illness experiences. Mimi felt blessed by 60 years of a good marriage, while Ron saw in his cancer just one more example of how unfair life had been to him.

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so…”
– John Donne

The real meaning of health

When the members of the cancer team agreed that Mimi was the healthiest person in the room, they were thinking of health in terms of wholeness or integrity. In fact, the word health shares the same source as the word whole, implying completeness or fullness. Ron felt repeatedly slighted, but Mimi looked at life from a perspective of abundance.

A full life is not necessarily marked by material wealth, power over others, or fame. Many people who live richly do so modestly and quietly, never amassing fortunes, commanding legions, or seeing their picture in the newspaper. What enriches their lives is not success in the conventional sense but the knowledge that they have done their best to remain focused on what really matters.

Mimi easily called to mind many moments when she and those she cared about shared their company and their love. Any sense of regret or sorrow over what might have been quickly gave way to a sense of gratitude for what really was, still is, and will be. Her outlook on life was shaped by a deep conviction that it had a meaning that would transcend her own death.


Couple enjoying the snow. Via Shutterstock.
From www.shutterstock.com

When someone has built up a life ledger full of meaningful experiences, the prospect of serious illness and death often do not seem so threatening. For Mimi, who had lived most of her days with a keen awareness that they would not go on forever, death’s meaning had been transformed from “Life is pointless” to “Make every day count.”

Mimi regarded the prospect of dying as a lens through which to view the meaning of life. She saw her illness as another adventure through which she and Jim would pass. Death would separate them, but it would also draw them closer together, enabling them to see more clearly than ever how much their love meant to them.

From Mimi’s point of view, death is not a contaminant, fatally introduced to life at its final stage. Instead death is a fire that burns away all that is not essential, purifying a person’s vision of what is most real and most worth caring about. Though not happy to be ill, Mimi was in a profound sense grateful for death. Her sentiments echo those of the poet John Donne:

“One short sleep past and we wake eternally:
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

The Conversation
Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University and James W Lynch, Professor of Medicine, University of Florida

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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19 Romantic Love Quotes About Finally Finding Your Person

You never know when you’re going to fall in love

But when you do, it’s often accompanied by an indescribable feeling of warmth and certainty. Below, we’ve compiled 19 quotes that beautifully put these feelings into words. 

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14 Truths About Being An Asexual Person

What’s it like to be asexual in a world as sex obsessed as ours? It might help to understand what it means to be asexual first. 

Unlike celibacy ― where people give up sex as a choice ―asexuality is a sexual orientation, according to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone and are just as capable of being in intimate relationships as other people ― they’re just not interested in sex. And being asexual categorically does not mean you’re lonely.

Below, men and women on the secret-sharing app Whisper talk about what it’s like to be asexual. 

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12 Things Every ‘Type A’ Person Wants You To Know

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Robert Frost once said, “The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” He certainly wasn’t thinking about Type A people when he said that. They barrel into the office like they’re racing for a pot of gold, and they never seem to lose momentum. It’s as if they’re driven by a motor that never shuts off.

We each have our own understanding of what it means to have a Type A personality, but what does this term really mean and where did it come from? It actually started in a waiting room shared by a pair of cardiologists. The doctors noticed that their chairs didn’t have wear on the backs as expected–the wear was only visible on the front edge of the seats and the armrests, suggesting that patients were literally waiting on the edge of their seats, ready to jump up the second their names were called.

So, the cardiologists–Doctors Friedman and Rosenman–wanted to find out if the strange wear pattern on their chairs was because impatient people are more prone to heart disease. They discovered that their hunch was correct. They also found that people’s personalities tend to lean in one of two directions, which they labeled Type A and Type B.

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Most think of Type A people as driven and highly strung and Type B people as carefree and even-keeled, but there’s so much more to it. Type As, in particular, are often misunderstood, as we just don’t understand the motivation behind their behavior.

To fully grasp what it means to be Type A, you need to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Don’t take my word for it–let’s see what they have to say:

1. We believe that winning is the only option.
We’re really hard on ourselves. Our desire to do our best often morphs into a desire to be the best. After all, if someone else does something better than us, then we mustn’t have been trying hard enough, right? This ensures that even the most mundane activities become a competition.

2. We live and die by our goals.
We don’t do anything “just because.” There’s an end aim for everything. That morning cup of coffee? The goal is to wake up. Half an hour of Pokemon Go at lunch? It’s about squeezing in some exercise and capturing more Pokemon than our friend down the hall. Heaven help anyone who slows us down or gets in our way. We’re nothing if we don’t reach our goals.

3. We’re always stressed.
Achieving our goals is so important to us that we often get stressed out about our progress. It’s that specter of wasted time or missed opportunities hanging over our heads that gets us all riled up, which can be really hard on our emotional intelligence (EQ).

4. We squeeze something into every possible moment. It may seem hypocritical that we’re sometimes late even though the rest of the time we’re impatiently drumming our fingers, waiting for meetings to start on time. The problem is that we try to squeeze a task into every possible minute, and sometimes we overdo it. In our determination to avoid downtime, we sometimes inadvertently create downtime for other people.

5. We want you to get to the point.
Skip the long preamble; if we have questions, we’ll ask. There’s no need to waste time on the setup when you have something important to tell us–just tell us. The theme here is efficiency; we’re interested in hearing the main points so we can begin taking action.

6. We hate to wait. We don’t hate being stuck at a red light or cooling our heels in a doctor’s waiting room because we think we’re too good to wait. We just like to be efficient with our time and don’t like things getting in our way. Every minute spent waiting is a minute we could have spent doing something productive. It’s a minute that we’ll never get back.

7. We’re conscientious.
Like “later,” “good enough” isn’t part of our vocabulary. Things are either right or they’re wrong. And they always, always have to be right. No matter what we’re doing, we care too much to settle for mediocrity.

8. We multitask. We’re not being rude, and we’re not bored. We just have a sense that the value of our day is measured by how much we get done, and we accomplish more when we do two (or more!) things at once.

9. We have a tough time relaxing. Relaxation isn’t a measurable goal, and it feels like a waste of time when nothing is getting done. It’s very difficult for us to sit around and “just be”; instead, we prefer to be actively “becoming” whatever lies at the end of our current ambition. Anything else amounts to lost time.

10. We have an unrealistic sense of urgency. From our perspective, “now” is the only time that exists. There’s no sense in putting something off till another time. While that’s often a good thing, we tend to give trivial issues a greater sense of urgency than they deserve.

11. We follow a schedule. Our time is carefully orchestrated so that each day we accomplish what we intended. Again like “later,” “whenever” isn’t part of our vocabulary. Everything gets scheduled and added to lists, and we take great satisfaction in ticking all the boxes.

12. We’re restless. Our motors are always running, so when we have to idle, that excess energy manifests in various nervous habits, such as fidgeting or biting our nails. Don’t worry, we’re not freaking out. This is normal behavior for us.

Bringing It All Together

We know that we can be awfully hard on everybody, but we’re even harder on ourselves. This may be difficult to see because no one else is privy to the perfectionist that’s goading or berating our every move inside our heads. Just know this: We care–we care a lot–and we really are sorry if our personality makes us hard to get along with sometimes.

What other characteristics set Type A people apart? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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If Dating One Person Isn’t Working Out, Try Dating Six People at Once

That’s what romantically dissatisfied people are doing nowadays, according to a new study.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says

Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.

Each week, This American Life is broadcast to more than 1.7 million listeners across 500 different radio stations. For Glass, who is featured in almost every episode, the show has led to a wide range of opportunities including book deals, feature films, and appearances on popular television shows.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way.

What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says

Glass started out at NPR as a 19-year-old intern. The next decade was filled with a lot of hard work and very little payoff as he worked as a reporter.

Fifteen years into his career, Glass finally began co-hosting his first show, which was called The Wild Room. The show was his idea, but Glass would later describe it by saying “one show would be horrible and two shows would be decent.” The Wild Room aired during a particularly unpopular Friday evening slot and in Glass’ words “it deserved its time slot.”

After struggling through two years of The Wild Room, Glass finally pitched the idea for This American Life and received meager funding to get it started. Over 15 years and millions of listeners later, the rest is history.

But here’s the part that I find really interesting.

Check out how Ira Glass describes his long struggle to create something noteworthy:

From Ira Glass:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.

Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.

And if you are just starting out or if you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.

I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.
–Ira Glass

If you’d like to hear Glass say it himself, listen to the audio clip below.

The Thing That Got You Into The Game

We all have reasons for being pulled to the things we love.

When he was just a 19-year-old intern, Ira Glass had a taste for journalism and storytelling. He knew what good journalism looked like when it was done well. But it took him 17 years of work before he could start to do it well himself. And, as he says above, that was frustrating.

I think you and I face a similar type of battle.

  • Spend a year or two in the gym and you’ll start to recognize good technique, even if your own could use some work. This is something I’m struggling with right now. I know a great clean and jerk when I see one, but when I grab hold of the bar it’s still hard for me to pull it off.
  • Start writing consistently and you’ll begin to take notice when you read great work. But good luck trying to produce your own brilliant words. In the beginning, it can be difficult just to get something on the page. And even when you can hammer out sentences, young writers quickly learn that all words aren’t created equal. Even with consistent writing each week, I still feel like I fail to produce something of note.
  • Watch a dozen TED Talks and you’ll be able to point out what you like and don’t like about certain presenters, but jump up on stage yourself and the difficulty of captivating an audience — even for a minute or two — becomes quite apparent.

And so it goes for virtually any skill. There is always a gap between being an apprentice and being a craftsman. The apprentice has the taste, but not the skill. The craftsman has the taste and the skill.

It’s easier to recognize beauty than it is to create it. You’re good enough to know that what you’re doing isn’t good, but not good enough to produce something great. When you find yourself in this frustrating limbo, the challenge is to never forget what got you there in the first place. Remember that thing that got you into the game.

Your love. Your passion. Your taste. That’s the reason you’re here. You still belong, even if you don’t feel like it right now. Your taste can be killer even if your ability is questionable.

Commit to the process and you’ll become good enough, soon enough. Put in a volume of work. Close the gap.

What to Do Next

Developing skills that are as good as your taste comes down to habits. The ability to “fight your way through” as Glass says, hinges on your consistency to show up and do the work. Can you build the habits required to make small improvements day after day?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but my hope is that I can help a little bit. I’ve spent the last year writing and researching the science of habit formation. Much of what I have learned (including strategies for becoming more consistent and improving your performance) is covered in my free 46-page guide called Transform Your Habits. It’s available for free to anyone who subscribes to my weekly newsletter.

If you haven’t already read it, you can download a copy here.

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares science-based ideas for living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance by 10x, join his free newsletter.

This article was originally published on JamesClear.com.

Sources
1. Ira Glass interview.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

14 Universal Realities Of Life As A Married Person

Every relationship is different, of course, but there are certain universal truths about married life that ring true no matter who you love or where you live. 

On Thursday the hashtag #MarriedPeopleIssues was trending on Twitter, giving spouses around the world a chance to bond over shared experiences like arguments about how to properly load a dishwasher and the nightly struggle of sleeping next to a bed hog. Read some of the most spot-on tweets below: 

Also on HuffPost:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Comedy – The Huffington Post
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High School Made You A Better Person

What has not cankering Time made worse?

Viler than grandsires, sires beget

Ourselves, yet baser, soon to curse

The world with offspring baser yet.

—Horace

Since the days of the poet Horace, adults have always fretted about the moral decay of the younger generation. Ninety years ago, for example, the New York City Board of Education issued a report in which they decried the decline of character among New York City’s school-aged children. Their tone was eerily similar to Horace’s. To the authors of that report, the remedy for the sorry moral state of our school-aged children was clear: They needed character education, the aim of which “should be to develop clear-cut conceptions of positive virtues, to present the principles of right living that will govern boys and girls in making moral decisions.” They described their charges’ lack of such principles in the following terms:

The shock comes when we learn their code of morals. These same delightful young people believe that it is all right if they can “get away with it.” They lack respect for parents and for authority. To copy home-work is entirely honorable if they are not caught. Forging a signature is a simple way of saving a lot of trouble. “Cutting” is to be commended if they can “get by.” Thieving is a matter of almost daily occurrence. Cheating is no disgrace if the offender is not detected. . . . When called to account they are seldom sorry that they have offended, but they are extremely sorry they “got caught.” . . . They have adopted the code of the street because they have never learned a higher code of morals.

Today, parents, teachers, and political leaders seem no less worried about the sorry moral state of our children, and the schools still get the lion’s share of the blame. According to a recent survey, 93 percent of American parents of K-12 students view “the development of strong morals and ethics” as a “critical” or “very important” responsibility of our schools, but only half of the parents surveyed believed the schools were doing an acceptable job at it. Reinforcing the sentiment that the country needs a boost to its character quotient, presidents have proclaimed a “National Character Counts Week” every year since 1994, and, not to be outdone, the Senate has passed similar resolutions virtually every year since 1996. In that first presidential proclamation, President Bill Clinton issued this rallying cry:

As we seek to instill important values in a new generation of Americans, we must redouble our efforts to improve student learning, responsibility, and sense of belonging. We must revitalize the American ideal of community if our schools are to achieve their full potential. Adults, children, teachers—all of us must set an example. All of us can make a new beginning. Schools need to emphasize the fundamentals: building character and creating a stronger sense of self-worth.

Over the past two decades, private foundations, non-profit organizations, and individual school systems have responded to the call, designing and implementing programs designed to boost and fortify character. There are some encouraging report cards. One review of eighty-seven evaluative studies of forty-five different character education programs indicated that, in general, these programs do appear to be effective. How effective, and for how long, remains open to debate. But are we asking the wrong questions and looking in the wrong place? Under the hot light that has been trained onto “character education” in the schools over the past two decades, we’ve lost sight of a more fundamental fact about education for character. Character-building has always been one of the central goals of this nation’s educational philosophy, and by many measures, our educational system continues to succeed splendidly—even without any explicit programs of “character education” added on. Is character something that can be explicitly designed and targeted, or should it be seen as an offshoot of other kinds of learning experience?

What Is School For?

Let’s take a step back and consider this question in a broader perspective. Thomas Jefferson’s educational philosophy exerted a profound effect on how the American system of public education would grow and develop. In his “Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Fix the Site of the University of Virginia,” Jefferson defined six fundamental goals of a basic public education:

• “To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business;
• To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing;
• To improve, by reading, his morals and faculties;
• To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either;
• To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor, and judgment;
• And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.”

Contracts. Morals. Duties. Rights. Order. Justice. Faithfulness. Diligence. The education Jefferson wanted the American system to dispense was, among other things, a moral education.

In Jefferson’s time, of course, significant limits were imposed on the education of women, people of color, and even white men who were not part of the property-owning class. Nonetheless, Jefferson’s view of education as a force for shaping character was highly influential in his own day, and it has remained so as educational access has increased and as membership in the civic community has been granted to many of those previously excluded. Indeed, for as long as we have been sending children to school on the American taxpayer’s dime, we have understood, as Jefferson did, that character education is a critical step in preparing young people to contribute to the republic as citizens and to take proper responsibility for their own destinies.

If we don’t appreciate the intrinsically character-building nature of our educational system, it is because we take it for granted. The moral dividends of education are hiding in plain sight, like water to the fish. This is because few of us are old enough to remember a time in American life when most children didn’t get at least a high school education. Think about it: today, high school graduation rates are higher than at any other time in history: In 1900 only one quarter of our children graduated from high school, but today more than eighty percent do. (For high-income families, the rate is even higher; for low-income families, it’s conspicuously lower.)

We can bring the hidden moral benefits of school to light so that we can better understand how a basic education improves the morality and character of young people—even at a time when the great majority of children complete high school. Social scientists have developed some ingenious methods for uncovering those hidden moral benefits. They mine historical data, they conduct longitudinal studies, and—most importantly—they examine the results of “natural experiments” that societies unwittingly conduct when policy changes randomly cause some groups of students to receive more education (or better education) than other groups of students. These natural experiments might occur, for instance, because of state-by-state differences in the passage of laws that raise the minimum ages at which people can enter the work force, or because of policy changes that abolish school enrollment fees or other barriers to entry. And these experiments tell a consistent story: The more education children receive—the earlier in life they start school, the later in life they finish, and the higher the quality of that education overall—the better the effects on character and conduct seem to be.

Education Reduces Crime

First, let’s consider the effects of education on crime. For decades, criminologists have known that educational attainment—the number of years of schooling people receive—is one of the best predictors of people’s likelihood of getting into trouble with the law: the more schooling, the less trouble. However, this association does not necessarily imply that education reduces crime. It is possible that involvement in crime reduces young people’s likelihood of staying in school (which would imply that causality runs in the opposite direction). Moreover it’s possible that there are various environmental and genetic factors involved that both reduce education and increase crime, thereby creating a spurious association between them. To draw firmer cause-and-effect conclusions, we need more information.

This is why the natural experiments to which I hinted above are so valuable. The story these natural experiments tell, according to the economist Lance Lochner, support the hypothesis that schooling makes crime go down. In the United States, for example, a one-year increase in a state’s average level of schooling (which might be precipitated by a state’s passage of a law that raises the minimum age at which children can enter the work force from, say, age fifteen to age sixteen) reduces the crime rate by more than 10 percent, and the likelihood that an individual will ever be incarcerated falls precipitously if that person has received about ten years of schooling or more. Similar results have been obtained in similar natural experiments from Great Britain and Italy. Overall, the research suggests that a one percentage point increase in the U.S. high school graduation rate would reduce the economic costs of crime by two billion dollars each year.

We are in a good position to conclude that education really does reduce people’s likelihood of being involved in property crimes and violent crimes. However, refraining from crime is merely one element of character. What about the other aspects of character that we look to education to shape? Here, too, we find evidence that education makes a positive contribution.

Generosity with Time and Money

More than forty studies indicate that education is associated with higher rates of charitable giving and community volunteering, even after taking into account potential confounding factors such as age and income. We shouldn’t get too excited about these studies, though, because few of them permit firm conclusions about cause and effect. However, two fascinating natural experiments do suggest that education might be the cause and generosity might be the effect.

In the first of these experiments, researchers found that students who had won a random lottery that enabled them to attend a private school for a reduced fee were subsequently more generous in their donations to several non-profit charities than were students who had not won the lottery. In another experiment conducted in Kenya, girls who received scholarships that provided them with cash grants and coverage of their school fees for two years were slightly more fair and generous in sharing money with an anonymous partner than were girls who applied for scholarships but did not receive them.

Citizenship

Civic engagement has long been known to be correlated with educational attainment, but only recently have natural experiments been conducted that enable us to determine whether the effects of education on civic engagement are of the cause-and-effect variety. According to natural experiments by Thomas Dee, a one-year increase in the minimum age at which U.S. children can leave school and enter the workforce increases their likelihood of registering to vote. It also increases people’s likelihood of actually voting by about forty percent. Likewise, schooling increases people’s newspaper readership, interest in elections, and interest in public affairs in general. An educated electorate apparently makes for a politically engaged electorate.

Trust, Tolerance, and Respect for Others

Finally, education appears to promote trust, respect, and tolerance for differing points of view. For nearly eight decades, in fact, psychologists have known that the most prejudiced people in any society tend to be the least educated. Also, both within and across societies, there is a strong positive correlation between the average number of years of schooling people obtain and the extent to which they trust others in general. What’s more, people who are surrounded by highly educated people within their own communities and states are more trusting and tolerant in general than those who are surrounded by less educated people. Thus, education can apparently build trust in two ways: by making you more trusting of your neighbors, and by making your neighbors seem more trustworthy to you.

Here too, the natural experiments just aren’t as plentiful as one might like, so it’s hard to make ironclad cause-and-effect conclusions. However, there are a couple of notable exceptions. For instance, the economist Kevin Denny took advantage of some major educational reforms that occurred in Ireland in 1968 (expensive fees required to obtain a secondary education were abolished) in order to estimate the causal effects of secondary education on attitudes toward homosexuals. His work shows that every year of additional education a student received as a result of this policy change led to a 5 percent increase in someone’s likelihood of agreeing strongly with the statement that “gays and lesbians should be free to live life as they wish.” Denny then went further and showed that one-year increases in the minimum legal age for leaving school—changes that occurred in different years for Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland—also raised people’s tolerance of gays and lesbians. Using similar natural experiments from the United States, Thomas Dee found that increases in education strengthened people’s convictions in one of the bedrock foundations of liberal democracies—namely, the belief that minority groups and politically unpopular groups (including not only “homosexuals,” but also “anti-religionists,” and “communists,” as well) deserve to have their rights to free speech protected.

How Education Builds Character

Just how does modern school-based education by itself—independently of any add-on character education initiatives—exert these salutary effects on people’s character? How is it that we do not seem to need explicit ideological content in order to make the next generation more law-abiding, generous, politically engaged, trusting, and tolerant?

Nurture and Nature

First off, as I mentioned above, it’s possible that much of the relationship between education and virtue is due not to the causal effects of education on virtue, but rather, to other factors that raise people’s educational levels while at the same time influencing their character. For example, some of the environmental factors (such as, characteristics of one’s family or neighborhood) that make people more likely to stay in school might also be involved in keeping them out of trouble with the law, or in motivating them to be more generous with their time and money.

Similarly, to the extent that there are genetic factors responsible for both educational attainment and character, the appearance that education causes character may be due features of the human genome rather than of our schools. In 2013, a consortium of researchers identified three genes with single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (variations in DNA sequences that cause some people to have, say, a molecule of guanine at the same location within a single gene where other people have a molecule of cytosine) that were linked to educational attainment. Each of the three SNPs accounted for about one month of additional educational attainment; jointly, they explained about 2 percent of the individual differences in educational attainment. Even more fascinating is the fact that these three SNPs also accounted for about 2 percent of the variability in people’s IQs. This pattern of findings suggests that some of the relationship between education and IQ itself can be attributed to common genetic factors rather than to the effect of IQ on educational attainment (or the effect of educational attainment on IQ). If these SNPs (or others that have yet to be identified) are likewise involved in creating individual differences in, say, charitable giving or trust, then we’d be right to credit the relationship between educational attainment and virtue to our genes rather than to our schools.

Economists’ Darlings

In addition, there are two explanations that many economists like. The first is called incapacitation, and it is based on one of the fundamental facts of our universe: you can’t be in two places at once. Every hour or day spent inside a school is an hour or a day that is not spent selling drugs, stealing cars, or breaking into other people’s homes. According to the incapacitation explanation, education doesn’t encourage character. It prevents crime in the same way that house arrest does.

The incapacitation explanation holds some water. An experiment by Brian Jacob and Lars Lefgren and a separate natural experiment by Jeremy Luallen indicate that property crimes by juvenile offenders are more common on days when school is out of session (for example, due to teacher in-services or teacher strikes). This pattern is consistent with the incapacitation explanation. You can’t commit property crimes out in your community if you are locked inside the school. However, there’s a wrinkle: on the same days when the rates of juvenile property crimes are lowered by school attendance, rates of juvenile violent crimes are raised—probably because peer interactions while at school create opportunities for students to fight each other. There’s more to school’s salutary effects on character than incapacitation can explain on its own.

Another idea that economists like is that education provides people with skills (reading and arithmetic, for instance) that increase their value as workers. This basic truth applies across all occupational levels. All workers, no matter how menial their labor, are more valuable to their employers (and thus obtain higher wages) if they can read, write, and do basic figuring. As a result of the wage premium that comes from possessing even these basic skills, an educated worker encounters higher opportunity costs for an hour of crime than does an uneducated one. The greater your value to a legitimate employer, in other words, the more you stand to lose in the legitimate labor market by diverting your time and effort into criminal activity. The wage premium from education therefore very likely presents a major disincentive to pursuing a life of crime.

A Curriculum for Character

Explanations based on common genetic causes, common environmental causes, incapacitation, and the wage premium all have their uses, but they’re just the tip of the explanatory iceberg. Education itself—the skills, knowledge, and other cognitive tools that people learn through a formal education—almost certainly prepares our minds for character and virtue in more substantive ways as well.

Literacy, for instance, makes all sorts of moral miracles possible. In a community of readers and writers, it becomes possible to specify a set of rules that will govern the community’s behavior, and then to record those behaviors on an external memory device (papyrus, stone tablets, or a hard drive in a server farm somewhere). It’s also easier to follow a rule you can see with your mind’s eye and not just hear with your mind’s ear.

There’s more to literacy. Once rules are written down, they more readily become objects of scrutiny. Once the rules are externalized, objectified, and made public, community members can more readily turn those rules into objects of study. A rule that is externalized into print form—a rule that exists outside of our private mental representations of it—becomes a thing. Things can be studied, interrogated, and disputed. Moreover, because of the sophisticated moral discourse that writing and reading make possible, rules and laws might ultimately be revised, altered in scope, or chucked altogether. Protesting or seeking to modify unjust rules that are blindly observed but not formally codified is a bit like hunting the ever-elusive snipe. Once rules are codified, however, the odds of changing an arbitrary or bigoted rule may tilt slightly in the reformer’s favor.

Literacy, of course, has other beneficial effects on the development of character as well. Once we can read and write, we can keep external records of our debts, credits, and promises to others (and theirs to us). With external records of this nature in place, it becomes easier to enforce our contracts without conflict, and it becomes harder to shirk our obligations without dishonor. Writing then, becomes a commitment device that reduces the gap between the ideals we held for our behavior six months ago and what we actually feel like doing today.

What about numeracy? When you’ve mastered the basic arithmetic and then moved on to understand the calculation of percentages and the effects of compounding over time, your understanding of how numbers work affects your capacity to understand how the world works. This understanding informed by numeracy can be extraordinarily powerful goads to particular kinds of virtue. For example, some experience with the concept of interest rates allows one to appreciate the long-term benefits of saving and of patience.

In one important survey-based study, more than forty-two thousand British adults were asked to indicate which of two hypothetical rewards they preferred. The two rewards differed not only in their amounts (£45 vs. £75), but also in the amount of time participants would have to wait to obtain them (three days if they chose the £45 reward, but three months if they chose the £75 reward). If you preferred the smaller reward, you could get it more or less right away, but if you preferred the larger reward, you’d have to wait a while.

Education made a big difference in the choices people made. Participants who completed eleven or fewer years of education were substantially more likely to choose the smaller-but-sooner reward than were participants who completed additional years of education. The less education you had, more likely you were to prefer to take the money and run, even though turning down the larger-but-later reward implied walking away from an investment that would grow with an interest rate in excess of 700 percent per year. (At the time of this writing, many banks in the United States are trying to lure people into opening savings accounts by tempting them with interest rates of 1 percent per year.) The association between education and patience wasn’t spuriously caused by the effects of education on adult income, either: better-educated people were more patient even after statistical controls were put in place to control for any causality-muddling effects of age, gender, and income.

Of course, what makes patience a virtue is not only its financial benefits, and we aspire to have education be associated with patience understood and practiced in a broader way. Patience is a virtue because of the crucial role it plays in honesty, fidelity, responsibility, trust, regard for others, and healthy living. To take just one example of the broader character dividends that come from patience, consider cooperation. Building and maintaining successful cooperative relationships requires us to resist the temptation to have a cut-throat, take-no-prisoners attitude toward our interactions. To the extent that we take our neighbors’ interests into account when trying to obtain good outcomes for ourselves (rather than pursuing a scorched-earth policy by which we always try to maximize our short-term gain, no matter how costly it is to our partners), those partners will seek us out in the future for more interaction. Working repeatedly with partners who trust you can be much more productive than seeking out new partners for every new venture because of the bridges you burned with your previous partners.

Education also provides people with a set of general-purpose reasoning skills that cannot help but improve our character. If they have already stipulated that Socrates is a man and that all men are mortal, then all reasonable people must necessarily agree that Socrates is mortal. By application of this same syllogistic reasoning, we can derive some moral conclusions. For example, if we all agree that (a) John is a human and (b) all humans are entitled to a set of basic human rights, then all reasonable people must conclude that John is entitled to that same set of basic human rights. The fact that, by virtue of his race, religion, sexuality, or politics, John is a member of a group that we dislike is irrelevant. No amount of special pleading can undo this iron logic (although it is possible through self-deception to shield oneself from its implications).

But the link of education and character is even deeper than that. Indeed, the secondary-school curriculum itself is shot through with character-relevant implications. The basic biology and neuroscience to which every high school student should have access before graduating sets the stage for many startling intellectual discoveries, such as the fact that humans are not the only sentient and social beings in world; there are many creatures that feel pain, suffer, and prefer certain fates over others. These facts are morally relevant—how could they not be?—and with proper guidance, learning them can be the occasion for students to thoughtfully contemplate how they wish to treat the other animals with whom we share this planet.

Psychology and history are morally relevant, too. The basic lessons of group dynamics that normally get covered in a twelfth-grade psychology course, when paired with the miserable lessons to be learned about the costs of war from a study of history, are available to help people resist the saber-rattling of sincere-sounding, smooth-talking leaders who would rush our nations into war in the wake of terror or the heat of vengeance. The literacy, numeracy, tools for reasoning, and cold hard facts about nature and history that make up a basic education don’t just make us smarter; they can make us better, too.

The Kids Will Be Alright

There is a joke about a recovering alcoholic, ten years of sobriety under his belt, who is always inviting a friend with a drinking problem to come with him to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. “I know the people who go to that meeting,” the not-yet-bottomed-out friend replies in a moment of candor, “they’re all just a bunch of hypocrites.”

“Well, if you think they’re hypocrites now,” the friend-in-recovery responds, “you should have seen them before they started coming to AA.”

We suffer from the same shortsightedness when we fail to appreciate the powerful role that education plays in shaping the character of our young people. Education on its own—without any fillers or additives, and without any specific ideological agenda—is character education, and it always has been. Sensible programs of deliberate character education should be developed and actively encouraged to supplement our children’s development of the virtues we all care about. But as we take advantage of opportunities for these sorts of character-education experiments, let’s all take a deep breath and admit for once and for all that Horace was wrong. Our offspring are not destined to be worse than we are. In the main, our kids are doing well, and we’re doing well by them. After all, 80 percent of the kids in this country are already receiving a full dose of the best character-education program we have to offer them—a comprehensive K-12 education. In the interest of character building, as we continue to look for meaningful ways to add character-specific content to our schools, let’s also keep trying to get a full dose to that final 20 percent who are still having to make do without.

§

This essay was originally published by the Center for Humans and Nature as part of their Questions for a Resilient Future series, “Mind and morality: where do they meet?” Questions for a Resilient Future is an online publication probing assumptions about nature and humanity’s place within it by gathering insights, across disciplines and regions, from leading scholars, artists, practitioners, and activists. At the Center’s website, you are invited to join the growing community of thinkers envisioning a more resilient future together.

Michael McCullough is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory at the University of Miami. He is Senior Scholar at the Center for Humans and Nature. His most recent book is Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct (Jossey-Bass, 2008). He is currently working on a book about the evolutionary and cultural foundations of human generosity. Follow him on Twitter @McCullough_Mike.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Arts – The Huffington Post
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Claudio Del Vecchio Named Person of the Year by AAFA

Del Vecchio will be honored at the AAFA Image Awards Gala on April 27 in New York City.

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Claudio Del Vecchio Named Person of the Year by AAFA

Del Vecchio will be honored at the AAFA Image Awards Gala on April 27 in New York City.

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How Yoga and Meditation Made Me a Whole New Person

I’m a person who has tried to live a healthy lifestyle (for the most part) and has generally managed to avoid too many life-negative habits. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a “health nut,” but I enjoy the satisfaction that I get from exercising regularly and eating wholesome food. When I started my practice of yoga and meditation, it seemed like something really in line with what I was already doing, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the huge difference it has made in my life.

#1 Improved my Flexibility

This may seem like a no-brainer, but yoga not only helped me stretch my muscles, it also perfected my posture and helped me with my back pain. Tight hamstrings and tight hips after a few years of sports had led to various back problems for me, and also a complication in my knee. The tightness in the hip region was the first thing to go after I began my yoga, and many other problems went “bye bye” soon too. I still have a bit of an ache in the knee every once in a while, But that has gone down drastically and seems to be set to follow the other problems into oblivion soon!

#2 Weight Loss

There are many types of yoga, but regardless which form you follow, yoga for weight loss has been attested as a very effective process. Yoga and meditation puts me in a mental state where I naturally eat less. I’m one of those people who eat more when they get upset, and apart from experiencing more emotional balance after doing yoga, I also found that it made me more conscious about what I eat without making any extra effort. It reduced my need for “comfort food” and let me decide what to eat based on what my body needs.

#3 Relaxed my Body-Mind

Both yoga and meditation are considered natural remedies for anxiety and stress because they shift the body’s mode away from the fight or flight response. This brings about a calm and rejuvenating process where at least for me, relaxation was almost a natural state. I found that I was likely to assume the worst in a situation, and was consequently able to develop more healthy relationships with friends, family and work colleagues. And I was no longer in a constant state of angst and tension about what had happened and what might happen.

#4 Improved my Attention and Focus

Focus often doesn’t rank high on people’s list of strengths these days, so you can imagine the difficulty a beginner like me would find in maintaining focus in tricky hatha yoga postures! But despite my propensity (typical of a modern lifestyle) towards attention deficiency, focus and attention is something that came naturally to me with regular practice of yoga and meditation. These aspects easily percolated into almost every other aspects of my day-to-day life.

Whatever may be your background or fitness level, yoga seems to have something to offer for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get out your yoga mat and meditate!
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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The New Magazine Every Socially Aware Person Needs to Read

As a recent graduate of Harvard, I am perhaps too familiar with particular, traditional metrics of success that have come to be embraced by our society — namely money and power. Even as I try to be on “my own path,” pursuing personal essay writing, meditation editorial leadership and poetry all at once, I still look for mentors who really seem to be pursuing “the Third Metric” — what Arianna Huffington describes as “a third measure of success” consisting of “four pillars”: well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.
 
Well among those mentors, near and far, is a fellow Harvard graduate named Kayla E., the Texas-based editor-in-chief of what I’ll call the “up and coming” magazine Nat. Brut. I got to know Kayla at school, somewhat peripherally, as a cartoonist and multimedia artist. I figured she would scurry off to a prestigious MFA program, the same way I figured I would scurry off to a PhD program. Yet both of us seem to be taking the “road not taken,” in some fashion. I was pleased to reconnect with Kayla this year upon discovering her adventures with Nat. Brut. In short, I think anyone interested in reading, writing, making art, looking at art, most social issues from race to gender to the environment and more, humor and so on, should know a thing or two about Nat. Brut. To me, this magazine embodies the Third Metric in action.
 
According to Nat. Brut’s recent Kickstarter, which successfully raised the necessary funds to permit the mag to exist online and in print (!), Nat. Brut was initially founded in 2012 with a deceptively simple goal: “to publish literature and art online and free of charge, so long as it was good.”
 
Well, after Kayla and her partner Axel Severs assumed the helm of the Nat. Brut ship one year ago (January 2014), they’ve expanded their goals without losing site of their social mission. When push comes to shove, their foundational mission is to use the magazine as a fun and intellectually stimulating means to make the world (both literary and otherwise) a better place.
 
So how do they aim to do this? Well, Nat. Brut is the only magazine out there that is committed to being socially progressive, environmentally sustainable, and representative of a wide demographic range of artists, writers and other creators. And they want to make it accessible to everyone! 
 
Why am I highlighting Nat. Brut now, as an exemplar for the values of the Third Metric? Well, because so many of us who are, on some level, committed to “success” and achievement have this sense that art and literature should be a realm of our lives where a sense of intimidation is somehow equivalent to rigor. Well not only does Nat. Brut give us content that is whimsical while critical, inclusive while rigorous, accessible while sophisticated.
 
Get ready for Nat. Brut’s first print issue — Issue Five, coming out March 2015. The issue will feature a curation of found photos by Rebecca Weisberg, work by Susan Te Kahurangi King, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Koa Beck and Deborah Grant along with other artists and writers. Oh and I really meant it when I said Nat. Brut is environmentally sustainable: Issue Five will be printed on 100% recycled paper. And they don’t even work with distributors, meaning no issues will be disposed of.

For all of the feminists out there sick of reading literary magazines that embrace elitist, patriarchal values, you should be especially ready to get to know Nat.Brut. For the upcoming issue, 75% of the contributions are from female artists and writers. The mag is going to consist of comics (and the comic section will be in the form of a fold-out poster), four hefty artist features, two photo features, fiction, poetry, an interview, and a humor supplement called SALE! One of their other goals is to showcase interconnectivity of mediums, just as we all aim to embrace the interconnectivity of all aspects in our lives, successful or not.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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How To Be The Most Popular Person At The Office | #OWNSHOW | Oprah Winfrey Network

Michael Phillips shares the Blue Bottle Coffee kit for making that perfect cup of gourmet coffee on the go or at the office.

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Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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What An Organized Person Thinks When They Enter Your Home

Everyone has that person in their life who takes their organization just a little too far for your comfort. Maybe it’s your friend without kids or even your mother-in-law — whoever it is you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you go visit them. But what happens if they go to your place?

As the self-proclaimed poster child for organization, I’ll break it down for you…

What You Think I Think: I could never live like this.
What I Actually Think: I wish I could live like this.

Am I proud of my organization habit? Sure, or I certainly wouldn’t be a self-proclaimed organization editor. Do I take it too far? Absolutely. In fact, I am jealous of you for embracing your clutter and coming to terms with the fact that the world will not end if you go to sleep when there are dirty dishes in the sink.

dirty dish in sink

What You Think I Think: This would look so much better if…
What I Actually Think: I wonder if they have wine or I should have brought some over.

While I may look at my own stack of reading material and wonder if it is at a 45 or 90-degree angle on the coffee table, I don’t care if your magazines are so strewn about that we cannot even see the carpet or that you have books stacked out of size order in a leaning tower. I am at your home to spend time with you, not to critique it.

book piles

What You Think I Think: I hope they don’t mind if I start casually reorganizing.
What I Actually Think: I’m happy to help, but I’ll only do it if you ask!

If you invite me over as a guest, I am a guest. If you invite me over as an organizing expert, I am an organizing expert — simple as that. The roles do not overlap, and if you do want some help, chances are I will set up a separate time to dig deeper into whatever you want to accomplish in your space. At the end of the day, whether you believe it or not, dusting and color-coding are not always on my mind (but they definitely could be if you ask for assistance in those arenas).

cleaning

What You Think I Think: And your cups don’t match because…
What I Actually Think: Can I have more wine?

This is a trickier one, only because I did graduate college and have just about zero desire to drink wine out of an oversized frat mug or a red plastic cup. That being said, it’s really alright if you didn’t order the fabulous new One King’s Lane wine glasses or made an effort to replace the now-mismatched sets you’ve broken. My cups match because I am a 45-year-old housewife at heart; yours don’t because you embrace the fact that you’re 25-years-old and don’t have a dishwasher.

assorted glasses

What You Think I Think: Why didn’t they clean up before I came over?
What I Actually Think: Thank goodness they didn’t clean up for me.

If anything, it makes me uncomfortable when you clean just for me. In my mind, it says that you think I am overbearing and judgmental enough that I would care that much about your organization game. In other words, please stop forcing stuff in your closet and jamming your clothes in your drawers because you think it will make me feel better.

messy closet

What You Think I Think: Next time, let’s go to my place.
What I Actually Think: Next time, I’ll definitely remember more wine.

If I avoided every place that wasn’t up to my organization standards, I would be missing out on some of the best dive bars New York City had to offer, I would be avoiding some of my best friends for an absurd reason and I would have broken up with my ex a lot sooner. I am a home editor at work, and I am a houseguest when I leave the office. It would be work to worry about anything else but cocktail hour and your company.

wine tray

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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TIME Regrets Naming Pope Francis ‘Person Of The Year’ After Beyoncé Drops Surprise Album

Staff at TIME have been left fuming after Beyoncé released a surprise album just days after the magazine chose the Pope as their Person Of The Year.

“I told them we should wait at least a few weeks for any late entries,” one unnamed staffer told HuffPost UK Comedy. “But they wouldn’t listen. Now look what’s happened.”

“Beyoncé unexpectedly dropping a new album is a complete game-changer,” said another. “There’s nothing Pope Francis could have done to beat this… except for releasing an album. And even then, he’d have to better 14 new songs and 17 videos.”

Beyoncé is now expected to be a last-minute entry on at least 500 end-of-year lists, including 2013’s Best Albums and 2013’s Most Overrated Albums.

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Pope Francis: chosen too quickly?

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8 Comments That Make You a Horrible Person

In a departure from the usual Happiness column, I feel compelled to share eight comments that real people have actually said that they may not realize are truly horrible. Some may read it and say, “But Valerie… I’ve said that and I’m not a horrible person.” Maybe you aren’t right now, but at the moment those words came out of your mouth, you were. You were horrible. Sorry, that’s just a fact.

This is by no means a definitive list. I’m sure you have a few of your own to add. Feel free.

1. “She’s wonderful. She’s not like other black people at all.”

This was said often by my great uncle, who had exactly one black employee, which he thought made him not a racist. Any time you “compliment” someone for not being like other members of their race, you’re a horrible person. Variations include complimenting someone for being good at some everyday thing that you think is beyond their abilities (like being articulate or a good driver), or assuming someone is good at something like basketball or math or getting the best deal on new carpeting because of their skin color or background. You only add to your horribleness when you say, “It’s okay for me to say this because my best friend is [insert race here].” Keep it safe and just assess people as individuals, based on their demonstrated behavior. Anything more, and you risk being horrible.

2. “Wow, you used to be so beautiful!”

I’ve heard this one twice. Once, when a colleague brought her bridal album in to show another woman some wedding ideas and it became clear that she had gotten married about 90 pounds ago, and once on Facebook, when a friend posted a picture from her youth, and another friend wrote it. The latter got a private note from me, and quickly changed her post to what she should have said in the first place: “Wow, you are so beautiful!”

People change. They age. They get fat. Reminding someone that they are no longer as physically attractive as they once were is mean. And unnecessary. And it makes you a horrible person. Which brings us to the runner up in this category: “You have such a pretty face, if you would just lose weight.” Yep. Horrible person. Next time, put a period after the word face.

3. “My sister-in-law was in labor for 18 hours and the cord was wrapped around her son’s neck, and he was born severely brain damaged. He was perfectly healthy up until then.”

This was said to my friend when she was 7.5 months pregnant. With a boy. She burst into tears.

What is it about seeing a pregnant woman that makes people feel the need to share their harrowing labor/birth defect/stillborn stories? If you see a woman who is clearly about to produce life from her loins, happiness and sunshine better come out of your mouth, or just keep it shut.

4. “My friend did IVF for six years and as soon as they stopped trying, she got pregnant.”

I swear, when you are going through IVF, everyone in the world happens to know someone who got pregnant just by giving up. That baby is about as real as the offspring of the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot. Every physical act is part of the “trying” process, whether one will admit it or not, so it’s cruel and painful to tell someone to stop trying. For every unique snowflake who gets pregnant naturally after $ 30,000 spent on fertility treatments, there are a thousand heartbroken potential parents who are not at all comforted by your fairy tale. They’re in pain and you’re making it worse.

Close runner up: “Maybe this is for the best. Don’t you think you’re too old to have a baby?” This was said to me by a family member one week after I miscarried my daughter, after four years and $ 30,000 spent trying and “not trying.”

Also, don’t ever ask an infertile couple if they’ve considered adoption. Do you really think that had never crossed their minds until you suggested it? Nothing will come of asking that other than an even more painful conversation.

Stick with, “I really wish you guys the best of luck.” That’s all there is to say.

5. “Did you try to have children of your own?”

I could write an entire post about the idiotic things people say to adoptive parents, often in front of their children, particularly if those children are a different race. For a mother, her adopted child is a “child of her own,” and her journey to motherhood is none of your damn business. Instead, bust out with, “What a beautiful family! I’m so happy for all of you.”

6a. “All that kid needs is a smack on the ass.”
6b. “It is disgusting that people medicate their children instead of just parenting them.”

I am embarrassed to admit, these are things I’ve said in the past. Repeatedly. Before I knew better. It’s so easy to pass judgment on parents and children without knowing all the facts, but that excuse doesn’t make me any less horrible for having said those things and others like them.

My cousin’s son has a mental illness. These comments are just a small sampling of things that have been said to her, sometimes in front of him. They are mean-spirited, disparaging, ignorant and heartbreaking. From the outside, we have no idea what kind of parent someone is or what their child’s special needs might be, so it’s best to pipe down. Making a comment isn’t making the world a better place. Next time, smile and try, “It’s the hardest job in the world. Is there anything I can do to help?”

(Speaking of children with different needs and abilities – if a small person in a costume comes to your house on Thursday night and doesn’t make eye contact or can’t manage to say, “Trick or treat,” be a decent human being and happily give them the candy without making a big deal out of it. Their beleaguered parents will be eternally grateful.)

7. “That medicine is poison. It actually causes cancer.”

This gem was said to a dear friend of mine who was put on Prednisone for her severe allergies, after countless doctors and several years of nothing else working. Way to go, horrible person with no medical training whatsoever! Your eight words caused an extremely ill woman to spend two hours on the phone crying to me, in sheer panic and desperation.

A close runner up in the illness category is, “You don’t look sick,” usually said in an accusatory or suspicious tone, since the speaker clearly has X-ray vision and can medically scan a total stranger’s internal organs. Need something to say in the face of illness? Best option is, “I’m so sorry you’re still not feeling well. Do you need any help?”

8. “Everything happens for a reason.”

I understand. Someone has passed and you feel the need to say something to the loved ones, but you don’t need to be original or special. No one is waiting for your witty bon mots. Stick with what is 100-percent safe: “I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.”

Follow that with silence. Silence is your friend. It’s okay to just quietly be there for someone when they need to cry, or yell, or fall apart, without pouring fuel on it by saying something potentially hurtful.

When I was a junior in high school, my best friend died of a brain tumor. I will never forget standing next to her mother at the funeral, hearing person after person say to her, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Each time, she had to grit her teeth and resist the urge to slug them in the jaw. For a parent who has lost a child, there is absolutely no freaking reason. Keep that thought to yourself.

Also, if someone else’s religious beliefs don’t jibe with yours, the death of their loved one is not the time to make that clear. And if you are using the death of someone’s child to evangelize about your religion to them, then you are a horrible person and whatever God you believe in is pissed that you’re doing it in his name.

We have an obligation on this planet not to make life more sucky than it already is for anyone else, so take a fearless self-inventory and choose your words more carefully next time. Every time.

Ask yourself if what you’re about to say will benefit anyone other than you, and if the answer is, “no,” swallow those words and find a way to be as loving and harmless as possible. Do your best not to be horrible. That will make the world a much happier place.

For a guidebook in achieving lasting, permanent happiness, check out “Happiness as a Second Language” currently the #1 Happiness book on Amazon, on sale in October for just $ 0.99! For added fun, watch The Happiest Book Trailer Ever. And for even more happiness, please visit Speak Happiness, and follow Speak Happiness on Facebook and Twitter.

For more by Valerie Alexander on Huffington Post, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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